What Essential Oils Are Good for Sleep?

What Essential Oils Are Good for Sleep?

What Essential Oils Are Good for Sleep?

If you're like most people, you probably don't get enough sleep. Research suggests that 71% of people across the UK don’t get the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep per night, which can lead to stress, irritability and various health problems.

Whether you toss and turn for hours before finally dozing off or wake up frequently during the night, lack of sleep can be incredibly frustrating. Many people turn to aromatherapy to help them sleep soundly, trusting in natural ingredients to help them relax and wind down before bedtime. In this blog post, we’ll explore which essential oils are good for sleep and how to use them. So if you’re hoping for a more restful slumber, keep reading!


Can Essential Oils Help You Sleep?

In today's fast-paced world, it can be challenging to get a good night's sleep. For some people, this may be due to stress, anxiety or poor sleep hygiene (e.g. an irregular bedtime routine or an uncomfortable bedroom), while for others, it may result from insomnia. Whatever the cause, there is scientific evidence that essential oils can help promote better sleep, with certain oils known for their relaxing properties. In a review of 15 scientific studies, it was reported that the majority of the findings suggested a positive effect of essential oils on sleep.

In one study, lavender oil was shown to improve sleep quality in people with mild insomnia, while further research reports that chamomile oil is a safe and effective treatment to improve sleep quality and symptoms of anxiety. The evidence suggests that essential oils can be a helpful natural remedy for those struggling to get a good night’s rest, so it may be worth experimenting with aromatherapy if you find it difficult to relax.


How to Use Essential Oils for Sleep

There are several ways to use essential oils for sleep. One of the most common is to add a few drops of your chosen essential oil to a carrier oil before applying it to your skin. Diluting essential oils with a carrier oil like jojoba or sweet almond oil is essential for safe topical application, as undiluted essential oils can cause irritation.

Try adding your chosen essential oils to this ultra-rich night cream recipe for a relaxing and skin-nourishing treat.


If you don’t want to use essential oils topically, try diffusing them in your bedroom or applying a couple of drops to your pillowcase to create a relaxing environment. Some people also find that a lavender eye pillow calms the mind and helps them relax before falling asleep. Experiment with different methods and oils until you find what works best for you.


Top Essential Oils for Sleep

So, which essential oils are good for sleep? We’ve selected some of our favourites to help you find your zen.

Lavender Oil

Scent: Floral, fresh and fruity

Plant Part Used:Lavender shrub

INCI:Lavandula Angustifolia Oil

Lavender tends to be the first essential oil people think of when they’re hoping for a restful night. This purple flowering shrub contains chemical compounds said to calm the nervous system and has been used in aromatherapy for centuries to help people relax and improve sleep.

As well as its calming effects, other benefits of lavender oil include its soothing, toning and refreshing qualities. Use it in a pillow spray to help you fall asleep or incorporate it into natural skincare recipes to give your products a beautiful aroma.



  • Use with caution while pregnant as overuse could be too stimulating.

Recommended Recipe

For more information, take a look at our guide on how to use lavender oil for relaxation.

Clary Sage Oil

Scent:Sweet, nutty and green

Plant Part Used:Salvia sclarea plant

INCI:Salvia Sclarea Oil

Clary sage essential oil is extracted from the clary sage plant, a herbaceous perennial native to southern Europe. This oil is said to reduce anxiety and promote sleep, with one study showing that inhalation of clary sage significantly lowered participants’ blood pressure. If you enjoy sweet, green scents and are looking for an essential oil to induce relaxation, this essential oil could be a great option to help you sleep. Try using it in bath melts with patchouli and lavender for a deeply relaxing soak.



  • Avoid during pregnancy.
  • Avoid if you have very low blood pressure as it is hypotensive.
  • Do not use if you have consumed alcohol.

Recommended Recipe:


Neroli Oil

Scent: Citrus, floral and clean

Plant Part Used: Flowers of the bitter orange tree

INCI: Citrus Aurantium Amara Flower Oil

Neroli essential oil is intensely relaxing, providing a therapeutic experience when used in aromatherapy, massage and skin care. Try diffusing this oil on an evening to help you unwind and boost your well-being, or use it to create your own soothing serum that doubles as a skin hydrator.



  • No associated cautions or contraindications. However, it is so relaxing that you may want to avoid using it if you must keep a clear head.

Recommended Recipe:


Roman Chamomile Oil

Scent:Sweet and floral with hints of apples

Plant Part Used: Roman chamomile plant

INCI:Anthemis Nobilis Flower Oil

You may already know about the benefits of drinking chamomile tea before bedtime, but chamomile can also be used in aromatherapy to improve sleep. Roman chamomile essential oil is reported to reduce anxiety and stress, making it beneficial for anyone who struggles to shut off their thoughts at night. Apply a couple of drops of this gentle essential oil to your pillow or dilute with a carrier oil and use it in baths to calm the mind and prepare yourself for a good night’s sleep.



  • No associated cautions or contraindications, but do not use in excess during pregnancy.

Recommended Recipe:


Ylang Ylang Oil

Scent: Rich, sweet and floral

Plant Part Used: Ylang ylang flowers

INCI: Cananga Odorata Flower Oil

Ylang ylang oil is extracted from the flowers of the Cananga tree and has a distinctive exotic, floral fragrance. This calming essential oil is known for alleviating stress and works well in massage oils and creams. Its gorgeous scent makes it a popular choice for hair care products. A study of patients in cardiac rehabilitation found that sleep quality significantly improved after inhaling a combination of ylang ylang, bergamot and lavender.



  • Some people can become sensitised.
  • Excessive amounts can bring on nausea and migraines.

Recommended Recipe:

Eucalyptus Radiata Oil

Scent: Sharp and minty with hints of honey

Plant Part Used: Leaves and stems of the eucalyptus tree

INCI: Eucalyptus Radiata Leaf/Stem Oil

Eucalyptus oil has a relaxing natural aroma and is often used to clear the sinuses. This makes it a great option for sleep if you have a cold or struggle with congestion. There are a few types of eucalyptus essential oil to choose from, but eucalyptus radiata is the most gentle and versatile — perfect for your bedtime routine. Use it on your pillowcase or dilute it in a carrier oil and apply it to your skin.



  • Do not use it on open wounds.
  • Never use this oil internally, even as a mouthwash.


Marjoram Oil

Scent: Warm, spicy and herbaceous

Plant Part Used: Leaves of the sweet marjoram plant

INCI: Origanum Majorana Leaf Oil

If you’re hoping for deeper sleep, marjoram essential oil may just soothe the mind and body enough to get you there. Derived from the sweet marjoram plant, this warm, herbaceous oil can be mixed with a carrier oil and applied topically to relieve stress. Studies have shown that marjoram oil has a sleep-inducing effect and can improve sleep quality.



  • Do not use during pregnancy.
  • Marjoram essential oil increases circulation by dilating arteries so should be avoided by those with varicose veins.

Recommended Recipe:

Bergamot Oil

Scent: Citrus and fruity with hints of florals

Plant Part Used: Rinds of unripe bergamot oranges

INCI: Citrus Aurantium Bergamia Peel Oil

Bergamot essential oil has a fresh citrus scent and is popular in aromatherapy for its relaxing yet uplifting qualities. Used in a diffuser, this oil can cleanse and purify a room and has calming properties that may improve sleep.



  • Avoid using this essential oil in sunbathing products.

Recommended Recipe:

Cedarwood Oil

Scent: Warm, sweet and woody

Plant Part Used:Bark of the cedrus atlantica tree

INCI: Cedrus Atlantica Bark Oil

If you prefer woody fragrances, try incorporating cedarwood essential oil into your nighttime routine to prepare your mind for sleep. Cedarwood oil contains a chemical compound called cedrol that’s been proven to improve sleep quality and may increase total sleep time. Mix it with floral oils to add depth to a room spray or massage blend.



  • Do not use during pregnancy.

Recommended Recipe:

If you’re new to aromatherapy and need a better night’s sleep, oursweet dreams essential oil blend is the perfect option to help you relax. Alternatively, explore our full range of essential oils to shop for individual natural ingredients and create your own recipes.

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